Online grooming is an essential topic for all parents, carers and individuals working with young people to understand. Our image (shown above) raises just a few of the recent headlines relating to online grooming.
Correct Answer: 5,000
According to data obtained by the NSPCC, the police recorded 5,161 crimes of ‘sexual communication with a child’ in just an 18 month period. The number of recorded crimes is of course going to be merely the tip of the iceberg of all incidents to have taken place over this time but it does give an indication of the scale of the risk.
Correct Answer: 45 minutes
According to the NSPCC, “It can happen within the space of a 30 or 45 minute communication depending on the vulnerability of the young person and skill of the perpetrator”. More on this story at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/10/children-groomed-online-less-45-minutes-warns-nspcc/
Correct Answer: My Little Pony
More on this story at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/paedophile-my-little-pony-chatroom-sex-abuse-grooming-girl-12-year-old-bradley-fuller-a8694931.html. It is important to understand that online grooming does not merely happen through social media, but can happen anywhere communication is possible between individuals and groomers will often target online environments such as in this case, where they feel they might be more likely to meet younger, more naive children. Gaming platforms (e.g. Fortnite) and live streaming services are also being targeted.
If you work in a school, help protect your pupils by providing them with access to the OSA Certificate of Online Safety. In addition to developing their awareness and ability to deal with grooming, children will learn about a range of topics including bullying, social media management, related health issues, sexting and more. Visit
https://www.onlinesafetyalliance.org/wordpress/osa-certificate/ for more details.